Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will invest an amount of $2 billion to transform a failed sapphire glass plant in Arizona into a massive data center. The plant is owned by Apple since 2013 and has an area of over 1.3 million square feet. It was used by GT Advanced Technologies Inc. to manufacture sapphire glass for Apple, as part of the latter’s efforts to bring manufacturing home instead of relying on Asian suppliers for parts. But GT filed for a bankruptcy protection in October last year after failing to meet its obligations towards the Cupertino, California-based iPhone maker.
According to Arizona governor Doug Ducey, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s new investment will create about 300 to 500 trade and construction jobs, apart from employing 150 full-time Apple staff. Apple will use the new data center as a command post for its networks worldwide. “This multibillion dollar project is one of the largest investments we’ve ever made, and when completed it will add over 600 engineering and construction jobs to the more than 1 million jobs Apple has already created in the US,” Apple said in a statement.
The $2 billion investment for the new data center will span across 30 years. Once completed, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will run the center using solar power from a local farm. According to Ducey, about 70 megawatts of clean energy will come from the Apple project. It was known ahead of the GT bankruptcy that Apple planned to run the site with solar power. The plant was initially used by GT Technologies to produce sapphire glass for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus under a $578 million deal with Apple.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has launched the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus using non-sapphire screens because of GT’s failure to provide the material, and in December last year, a bankruptcy court approved a settlement deal between Apple and GT. GT will have four years to sell equipments in the plant, while Apple will have to wait for 2016 to have full control of the facility.
This article has been written by Nonito Guntan.